Kansas Lineman Anthony Collins Named 2007 Outland Trophy Finalist

Nov. 19, 2007

<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>DALLAS – Kansas offensive tackle Anthony Collins, LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey and Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long have been named finalists for the 62nd Outland Trophy, which is awarded to the best interior lineman in college football it was announced on Monday.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

The winner of the Outland Trophy, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America, will be announced on Dec. 6 during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show from The Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Either Kansas, LSU or Michigan will produce an Outland Trophy winner for the first time.

Collins, a Beaumont, Texas, native, has helped lead the second-ranked Jayhawks to a perfect 11-0 mark heading into Saturday’s Border Showdown with third-ranked Missouri. He has started 23 games in his career at KU, including 10 starts at left tackle this season after playing right tackle as sophomore. He is averaging nine knockdowns per game.

Collins, a 6-foot-6 junior, is the anchor of the Jayhawk offensive line that has paved the way for one of the most exciting offensive attacks in the 2007 college football season. Behind Collins’ stellar play KU has racked up a school record 45.82 points per game, which ranks second in the NCAA in scoring offense. The Jayhawks have averaged 500.18 yards per game, which ranks seventh in the nation.

Kansas, which boasts one of the most balanced offensive attacks in the country, is on the verge of having a 1,000-yard rusher (Brandon McAnderson, 1,009), 1,000-yard receiver (Marcus Henry, 977) and 3,000-yard passer (Todd Reesing, 2,910) in the same season for the first time in school history thanks in large part to Collins’ efforts on the offensive line. Just getting one of these components has been a rarity at Kansas, as there has never been a 3,000-yard passer (Mike Norseth owns school record at 2,995 in 1985), only two 1,000-yard receivers (Bob Johnson had 1,144 in 1983 and Richard Estell had 1,109 in 1985) and 12 1,000-yard rushers now that McAnderson has reached that mark.

Collins earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors from the Associated Press following his sophomore season and was tabbed Preseason All-Big 12 First Team by the media entering the 2007 season.

Dorsey, who also is a Bronko Nagurski Trophy (Best Defensive Player) finalist, anchors LSU’s fourth-rated rush defense. He has registered 11.5 tackles for losses for the once-beaten Tigers and made 55 total tackles. The 6-2, 299-pound senior has broken up three passes and been a major disruptive force for a defense which also ranks second in total defense, ninth in pass defense and ninth in scoring defense nationally.

Long, a member of the FWAA All-America team a year ago as a junior, has allowed only one sack all season and never been flagged for a penalty in 12 games. He has been the primary blocker for Michigan running back Michael Hart, a 1,000-yard rusher this season. The 6-7, 313-pound Long, a senior, is considered the top offensive lineman in the Big Ten Conference.

The Outland Trophy, which has been awarded annually by the FWAA since 1946, is named after the late John Outland, a lineman at Pennsylvania at the turn of the century. The Outland Trophy is the third oldest award in major college football behind the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award.

The official 2007 award presentation will be Jan. 10, 2008, in Omaha, Neb., at a banquet sponsored by The Greater Omaha Sports Committee. Oklahoma’s Lee Roy Selmon, the 1975 Outland Trophy winner, is expected to receive his trophy there.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of nearly 1,000 men and women across North America who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards, a national poll and its annual All-America team.

Finalists for other national awards were also announced on Monday.

Oregon senior quarterback Dennis Dixon, Arkansas junior running back Darren McFadden and Florida sophomore quarterback Tim Tebow are finalists for the Maxwell Award for the nation’s best all-around player.

The contenders for the Chuck Bednarik Trophy for the best defensive player are PennState linebacker Dan Connor, LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey and Ohio Sate linebacker James Laurinaitis.

Dorsey is also a finalist for the Outland Trophy, given to the best interior lineman, along with Kansas’ Anthony Collins and Michigan’s Jake Long.

Dixon, Tebow and Missouri’s Chase Daniel are up for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award.

McFadden, the reigning Doak Walker Award winner, joins Michigan’s Mike Hart and Rutgers’ Ray Rice as finalists for the trophy given to the best running back.

Candidates for the Biletnikoff Award for the best wide receiver are Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree, Michigan’s Mario Manningham and KansasState’s Jordy Nelson.

Jim Thorpe Award finalists for the best defensive back are Arizona’s Antoine Cason, BostonCollege’s Jamie Silva and LSU’s Craig Steltz.

For the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, finalists are UTEP’s Jose Martinez, Indiana’s Austin Starr and ArizonaState’s Thomas Weber.

Finalists for the Ray Guy Award given to the nation’s top punter are Georgia Tech’s DurantBrooks, Cincinnati’s Kevin Huber and Toledo’s Brett Kern.